January 24, 2023
Dear Citizens of Bossier City,
On Tuesday, January 10, 2023, the City Council introduced an ordinance to cut funding to Sportran by $400,000. While I am open to renegotiating this contract that has been in place since the mid-1970s, I do not agree with the timing of this decision as we are less than one month into the current year’s budget. I do not oppose reevaluating our annual appropriation to Sportran, but it should be done during budget negotiations for the 2024 operating budget, not less than two months after this year’s budget was adopted.
The City Council has the authority to reduce Sportran’s budget via ordinance. If the budget amendment is adopted, it will increase the City’s 2023 General Fund balance by $400,000. If the Council chooses to reduce the funding for public transportation, I will propose those dollars are reinvested in meaningful ways that benefit the citizens of Bossier City. Public safety is one of my top priorities and additional funds would allow the Bossier City Police Department to hire more officers to meet the needs of our growing city. Other agencies within Bossier City could also benefit from additional funding, such as Bossier Council on Aging, which provides transportation and meals to our elderly population within the City.
Ultimately, the final decision on Sportran’s funding rests with the City Council. While I don’t agree with the timing of this budget amendment, I am focusing on making sure these funds will be used to benefit the citizens of Bossier City.
Thomas H. Chandler